London: My September/October Restaurant Picks

Emilias Pasta

Right on the water at St Katherines Dock, this hidden gem is the perfect restaurant for small groups or a party of two. Producing homemade, Italian pasta, the food is absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced! Not only that, but St Katherines Dock is the prettiest location, hidden away in the heart of central London. You can also book this restaurant, however seats outside/by the water are served on a first come first served basis.

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Plot

Amongst the chaos of Tooting Market is Plot, a British restaurant focused on small plates served in a small, clean-lined setting. This small restaurant is not to go unnoticed, as the food is stunning and super unusual! The menu is small but you can choose from a variety of plates.

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NAC

I came across NAC’s famous Dulce de Leche pancakes on Instagram, and knew I had to go and try them. This French bistro does brunch, lunch and dinner, serving a mixture of modern plates. I tried the restaurant for brunch and cocktails one Saturday afternoon, and would definitely go back to try another menu! The service was great, the food was delicious, and needless to say those pancakes were sensational! As NAC is in Mayfair, dishes are on the pricier side, but it is definitely worth the visit!

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Boqueria in Brixton

My love for tapas never seems to end, and Boqueria in Brixton and Battresea is no exception. This restaurant is perfect for larger groups, who love to share delicious tapas. The menu consists of traditional Spanish tapas and the food is yummy – another restaurant I will be returning too in the future.

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Via Instagram: @boqueria_tapas

La Farola

I recently came across this spot in Angel by chance, and will definitely be heading back! A Tapas restaurant in the heart of Angel, this cosy spot is perfect for either a couple or small group who are looking for non-expensive and delicious food! Their weekend brunch menu is also meant to be fantastic, so I will definitely be heading back to try that soon!

Suggestion: Why not make an evening of it and head to The Everyman Cinema (Screen on the Green) after your meal for a luxury cinema experience!

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The Apple Blue Patisserie

On the corner of Balham tube station is a hidden gem for coffee, pastries and brunch! Whilst on my daily commute to work, I would walk by the Apple Blue Patisserie, curious as to who the are and what they do! Now, this place is my favourite spot for my americanos and oat milk! Not to mention, their cakes are also works of art!

I also recently tried this place for weekend brunch, and the food was delicious! The staff and really friendly and you can sit both inside or outside, depening on your preference!

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London: My August Restaurant Picks

I am always trying to explore new and exciting restaurants in London and the list seems to never end. Here are my favourite restaurants I have tried in the last month:

Hispania: Spanish Tapas

I absolutely adore tapas, and London is bursting with great Spanish tapas restaurants! I came across Hispania through an old work colleague of mine, who I was meeting for dinner one evening. Directly beside Exit 6 at Bank Station, the building alone is spectacular! With beautiful, high ceilings and fantastic service, Hispania ticks all the boxes before you have even tried the food! The menu is a mix of tapas and main dishes, ranging from traditional tapas, to tapas with a more exotic twist. The menu is fairly standard in terms of pricing – it isn’t cheap, but it isn’t extortionate either. It also takes bookings!

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Flour & Grape: Cheap and cheerful homemade, Italian pasta

Bermondsey Street strikes again! It seems, when it comes to food, that Bermondsey Street can do no wrong! Flour and Grape is located about an 8-10 minute walk from London Bridge station, and is every pasta lover’s heaven! All their pasta is made from scratch and has a range of dishes from prawn linguine, to tomato and aubergine rigatoni. The food is amazing value and they take reservations for lunch, but dinner is walk-in only.

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Cinnamon Bazaar: Twist on Indian Food

I actually came across Cinnamon Bazaar by chance, while in Covent Garden one evening and I will definitely be returning! An Indian based menu, the food was absolutely fantastic and ranged from both small to large dishes. The food is very reasonable and not too heavy, like traditional Indian food. I would definitely recommend getting a few of the small plates and trying different dishes from the menu!

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German Gymnasium:

I am not going to lie, when I heard I was going to a German restaurant recently I wasn’t entirely convinced, as I am not the biggest fan of German food. However, having been to this restaurant, my opinions have completely changed. A converted Gymnasium beside Kings Cross station, the building is simply stunning. The food is quite unusual but absolutely delicious! Prices are on the higher end of the scale, but if you are making an evening out of it, it is definitely worth it! You can enjoy this Mittel-European inspired menu for breakfast lunch or dinner, and late night glamour at the chic Meister Bar.

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The Ultimate London Dinner List

For the past few weeks I have been trying to compile the Ultimate London Dinner List, with all the best restaurants (for dinner) across London. Each of these restaurants has been tried and tested, by either myself or friends, and includes everything from cheap and cheerful to Michelin star (marked with an *). Enjoy!

 

French:

The Orrery (Modern take on traditional French dishes) Marylebone
Margaux (French) Kensington
Leroy (French Small plates) Shoreditch
Nac (French Bistro) Mayfair
Le Boudin Blanc (Rustic Gallic Food, French cuisine) Mayfair

Italian:

Sorella (Italian) Clapham
Bernardi’s (Italian) Marylebone
Flour & Grape (Italian/Pasta) London Bridge
Padella (Pasta) London Bridge
Bocco di Lupo (Italian) Soho
Popolo (Italian) Shoreditch
Da Corradi (Italian) Mayfair

Tapas:

Jose (Tapas) London Bridge
Pizarro (Tapas) London Bridge
Cambio de Tercio (Tapas) Earls Court
Capote y Toros (Tapas) Earls Court
Hispania (Spanish Tapas) Bank
Barrafina (Spanish Tapas) Soho, Covent Garden, Drury Lane *

Mediterranean:

Peyote (Mediterranean) Mayfair
Brawn (Mediterranean small plates) Shoreditch
Liman (Mediterranean) Angel

Indian:

Benares (Michelin Star Indian restaurant) Mayfair*
Bombay Bustle (Indian) Mayfair
Bombay Brasserie (Indian) Kensington
Kricket (blend British ingredients & Mumbai-inspired flavours.) Soho
Dishoom (Indian) Shoreditch, Kensington, Carnaby, Covent Garden, Kings Cross

British:

Tanner & Co (Old English food with a modern edge) London Bridge
Lamberts (modern British) Balham
Magpie (Modern British) Mayfair
The Ivy (Modern British Food) Multiple Locations
Drayton Arms (British gastropub) Earls Court
Bumpkin (British) South Kensington
Kitty Fishers (Modern British with Spanish twist) Mayfair
Plot (Modern British small plates)Tooting Market
The Dairy (Small-plate dining from seasonal Modern English/European menu amid vintage chic of bar/bistro.) Clapham Common
Randall & Aubin (Seafood, Oysters, Modern British) Soho
Frog by Adam Handling (continues Adam’s signature British style and combines technical savvy with the freshest, highest quality seasonal produce) Covent Garden

Steak:

Gauchos (Steak) Multiple Locations
Hawksmoor (Steak) Covent Garden
Foxlow (Steak) Balham
Hixter (Chicken/Steak) Bankside
Arlo’s (Steak) Balham

North Africa:

Barbury (North African) Neals Yard Covent Garden
Morito (Spanish/North African Tapas) Clerkenwell

 

Asia:

Bull in a China Shop (Asian infused eatery) Shoreditch
Sushi Samba (Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian sushi) Moorgate
Go (Vietnamese) South Kensington
Pidgin (Asian Inspired 4 course menu) Hackney*

 

Moroccan:

Tagine (BYOB Moroccan) Balham
Momo (Couscous, tagines and lamb dishes in colourful setting filled with furnishings from a Moroccan souk.) Mayfair

 

Peru:

Chicama (Peruvian, does not serve meat) Kings Road, Chelsea
Pachamama (sister restaurant of Chicama, serves meat, also Peruvian)

 

Turkish:

Oklava (Turkish sharing plates) Shoreditch
Ruya (Turkish) Mayfair

 

Other:

Caravan (A bit of everything) Kings Cross, Exmouth Market, Bankside, Fitzrovia
Palomar (Modern fare from Jerusalem meets a variety of international influences) Soho
The Manor, Clapham
La Bodega Negra (Mexican food) Soho
The Ned, City of London
The Hospital Club (Private Members Club)
Black Roe (Hawaiian-inspired raw fish &seafood dished, plus grilled meats) May
Asia de Cuba (Asian influence on Cuban cuisine) Covent Garden

Casual and Chilled:

Radio Alice (Pizza) Clapham Common
Pho (Vietnamese) Multiple Locations
Franco Manca (Sourdough Pizza) Multiple Locations
Eco (Pizza) Clapham Common
The Pepper Tree (Thai food) Clapham Common
Kaosarn (Asian BYOB) Brixton

Markets:

POP in Brixton
Dinerama in Shoreditch
Mercato in Elephant and Castle
FlatIron Square
Boxpark Shoreditch

Coppa Club

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Delicious food, stunning views and Paradise Pods, Coppa Club at Tower Bridge is the perfect spot for any occassion! Whether it be breakfast/brunch, drinks or dinner, this venue caters to all events. With its famous Paradise Pods (igloos), the Tower Bridge branch overlooks the river Thames and is the perfect outdoor eating spot for those sunny, summer days!

You can pre-book tables/Paradise Pods on their website, but the latter do fill up quite quickly, so try to book as far in advance as you can! The restaurant also has three other locations in St. Paul’sSonning-on-Thames and Henley-on-Thames. I had lunch at the Tower Bridge location and the food was delicious and not overpriced.

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Feya Cafe

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Right off Oxford Street, this beautiful café has not been open too long, and gives Elan Café and Peggy Porschen a run for their money! A hidden gem amongst the bustling side streets of central London, the roof is decorated with white flowers and THE walls are pastel pink. The café not only does cake and coffee, but also has a breakfast and savoury menu with an unique twist (Pink Oats with Caramel Chia Pudding, Mashed Rose Raspberries, Banana Flowers & Rose Petals for example!) Considering how beautiful the cakes are, the prices are incredibly reasonable!

So if you love all things sweet like I do, then it is definitely worth a visit!
Aimee Rose xx

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Yogurt Cake

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This is one of my all time favourite Spring/Summer cakes to make. I have been baking this cake for years thanks to a friend’s mother’s recipe. I have known this incredible lady for over 20 years and she introduced me to the recipe when I was about 13 or 14 years old…and I have been making it ever since!
The cake is so quick and easy to make and is a great base to add your own personal twist to. It is a real all-in-one recipe, so for those with little baking experience, this is the cake for you!
Light and fresh, this cake is perfect for any Spring or Summer occasion, particularly afternoon tea.
Enjoy
Aimee xx

 

P.S. I love to add poppy seeds or fresh raspberries into this cake mixture to jazz it up, and pair it with a lemon glaze and icing for additional flavour.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

3/4 cup of caster sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup of sunflower oil

1/2 cup natural yogurt/buttermilk

 

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Use parchment paper to line the baking tin (9/10 inches) and grease lightly with butter.
2. The method for this cake is really quite simple. Add in the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then add in the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps.
I sometimes like to add poppy seeds or fresh raspberries in at this point to change up the recipe.
3. Place in the baking tray and cook for 40-50 minutes. To test if the cake is cooked, use a sharp knife and dip it down the centre of the cake. When you remove it, it should be clean. If there is still mixture on it, it needs more cooking.
4. For the icing, simply mix in about 2-3 tablespoons of water into a medium-size bowl of icing sugar, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Spread it onto the cooled cake using a wet knife, and serve. Allow the icing to dry, then serve.
5. For a lemon icing, simply repeat the step above, using fresh lemon juice instead of water.
TIP: Before adding the lemon icing, use a fork to poke holes in the cake. Using a mixture of 3 freshly squeezed lemons and 3-4 tablespoons of caster sugar, poor this over the cake, allowing it to seep into the holes. This creates a lemon glaze across the cake, making it super most and zesty!

Caravan

IMG_6159Jalapeño corn bread, chipotle butter, coriander, lime. Burrata, wild garlic pesto, sherry vinegar. Heritage carrots, smoked paprika yoghurt, hazelnut dukkah, mint.

I absolutely adore this restaurant! In five locations across London (Bankside, Kings Cross, The City, Fitzrovia (coming soon) and Exmouth Market) I would recommend Caravan to anyone who loves and appreciates good food with a less traditional menu.

I have been to both the Bankside and Exmouth Market branches, and both were equally as wonderful an experience. Although I have only ever been to Caravan for dinner, I have also heard great reports about their brunch menu too! It is the perfect spot for a small group, or even just one or two friends, as it has a great atmosphere but doesn’t feel too crowded. They also cater for large groups/special occasions, and can tailor the menu to suit your taste. The food is so delicious and really reasonable given the quality!

Aimee

xxx

IMG_6161Elwy valley lamb meatballs, burnt tomato, bulgur, yoghurt, almonds

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IMG_6160Bulgur and halloumi fritters, aubergine purée, chard, preserved lemon

IMG_6162Nduja, tomato, confit garlic, cavolo nero, scamorza